Why did class differences play such an important role when these women supposedly were fighting for a common cause?  

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I think that more clarification is needed in the question.  It would help to identify in what work sample you are noticing this trend.  In a larger sense, it seems to me that you are having to assess which played a more dominant sociological role:  The position of class in...

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I think that more clarification is needed in the question.  It would help to identify in what work sample you are noticing this trend.  In a larger sense, it seems to me that you are having to assess which played a more dominant sociological role:  The position of class in a particular social setting or gender discrimination.  I think that analyzing this particular dilemma is quite rich because it will reveal much in way of full understanding of sociological reality.  Indeed, the distinction between which has a more limiting function (gender or class) is a considerably important one because from a theoretical standpoint, the primacy of one seems to subsume the other.  That is to say, if you notice that class is a more dominant characteristic in the narrative, then gender is subservient to it.  This plays a large role in how "the other" is seen and how marginalization happens and how it can be offset.

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